Numerical Simulation of the Influence of Platform Pitch Motion on Power Generation Steadiness in Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Yehezkiel Tumewu (1), Petrone Crescenzo (2), Mettupalayam Sivaselvan (3)
(1) MS Reseach Associate, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, USA, United States,
(2) PhD Research Associate, Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, University College London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom,
(3) Associate Professor. Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, USA, United States


Offshore wind energy is a valuable renewable resource that is inexhaustible, strong, and consistent. To reduce cost and improve energy production efficiency, future trends are moving towards wind turbines in deep water, which use floating platforms such as tension leg platforms, barges, and semi-submersible designs. Compared to fixed based substructures, these floating platforms are in a state of constant motion which affects the power generation steadiness. The resulting complex dynamic behavior might compromise their efficiency and reduce their nominal life. The complex analysis of floating wind turbines requires computer tools that couple all the different components to represent the complete dynamic response. One such tool, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is the aero-hydro-servo-elastic tool FAST. In this work, simplified models are used for three platform types, and the results are compared with FAST as a way of understanding the essential dynamics. Secondly, using FAST, the influence of platform pitch motion on the steadiness of power generation is examined. This analysis is done for all three platforms for a constant above rated wind speed and above average wave load. Results demonstrate that the power output fluctuation depends on the platform type and blade pitch motion. The effect of platform pitch on the steadiness of power output is only apparent under large oscillating pitch motion, where recurring power drops are observed. The semi-submersible design performs well with relatively steady power output, while the barge design has the most unsteady output, as a result of its susceptibility to typical wave loads.

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Yehezkiel Tumewu
[email protected] (Primary Contact)
Petrone Crescenzo
Mettupalayam Sivaselvan
Tumewu, Y., Crescenzo, P., & Sivaselvan, M. (2017). Numerical Simulation of the Influence of Platform Pitch Motion on Power Generation Steadiness in Floating Offshore Wind Turbines. Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 2(1), 92–101.

Article Details

Received 2016-10-31
Accepted 2017-06-26
Published 2017-07-01